Kirkland prohibits marijuana retail sales on part of Market Street

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Kirkland Council approves interim zoning regulations prohibiting marijuana retail sales in one zone along Market Street

Planning Commission to study permanent regulations

 

Following a public hearing on February 4, 2014 in which public testimony was received in favor of and in opposition to proposed interim zoning regulations related to the retail sale of recreational marijuana, the Kirkland City Council approved interim regulations prohibiting such use in one zone district located along Market Street.  The ordinance proposed prohibiting the retail sale of marijuana within two land use zones along Market Street: Market Street Corridor (MSC) 1 which extends along Market Street from 8th Avenue to 19th Avenue and MSC 2 which is a small retail center located on the west side of Market Street between 14th Avenue West and 16th Avenue West.  The City Council approved an amendment to strike the MSC 2 Zone from the proposed ordinance resulting in the interim regulations applying only to the MSC 1 Zone.  The interim regulations will be in effect for six months while the Planning Commission initiates a further study.

 

Citizens who testified in favor of the interim regulations cited traffic and parking impacts to the neighborhood, safety concerns for neighbors, and that the Market Street commercial zones are bordered by residential areas as reasons for supporting the prohibition.  Public testimony against the proposed ordinance included concern that the current and proposed regulations severely limit locations for retail marijuana sales locations within Kirkland.

 

In addition to adopting the interim regulations, the City Council asked the Council’s Planning & Economic Development Council Committee to provide recommendations on the direction to be given the Planning Commission regarding further study of permanent regulations.

 

Staff will return to the next Council meeting with a revised draft comment letter to the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSCLB).The current draft letter and proposed ordinance are posted online at www.kirklandwa.gov (Search: Watch City Council Meetings) and select the February 4, 2014 meeting.

 

According to WSLCB rules regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana, the Board will issue retail sales licenses to only two marijuana retailers within Kirkland city limits.  There is no limit of licenses the State will issue for production and processing of marijuana.  In 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 502 which legalized the sale, production and processing of marijuana.  For more information about Initiative 502, visithttp://www.liq.wa.gov/marijuana/I-502